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Remember the days when the dating culture was composed of actual dates, door pick- ups, bouquets of flowers, and in-person introductions?

           Well, unfortunately, I don’t. For people living in my generation, we mostly see these actions depicted in movies, rarely ever becoming a reality. While there are a number of factors that have influenced the shift in our dating culture, technology, specifically advances in social media, prove to be a driving force.

Many of the changes in our dating culture are a result of an evident shift from face- to- face interaction to interaction over the Internet, specifically through social media platforms. These changes are a product of society’s reliance on texting, Imessaging, and Facebook as means of communication. In addition, there are numerous social media sites that actually focus on advertizing their user’s relationship status. No longer do people need to have a conversation to find out whether someone is single or in a relationship. Sites such as Facebook, provide an actual “Relationship Status” section under the “About” column. Here, users are given the option to pick a label to display on their profile. Facebook offers an array of options ranging from “single” to “married” and, if it applies, users are able to tag their partner in their status.

These social media platforms have created a shift in the dating culture, moving it from a private entity to a public one. Information that used to be personal, such as relationship status, is now made immediately public the minute someone chooses to display it on their profile. Whether people decide to present themselves in a serious, committed relationship or single and “ready to mingle,” people actually want to advertise their status on social media profiles. In my opinion, what’s worse than publicly displaying a relationship is publicly displaying when it’s over. When a couple breaks up, everyone knows about it. Facebook actually advertizes “this person is no longer in a relationship.” The status is removed and replaced with the word “single.” This relationship is no longer between two people but instead, two people in addition to the rest of the Facebook world.

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Image Courtesy of Fickr User Opensourceway 

While Facebook has clearly made an impact, there are other platforms such as Tinder, which have also played a role in transforming our culture. Tinder is an application that allows you to scroll through people’s pictures, rating them as either attractive or unattractive. The application sends a notification once two people have mutually rated each other as attractive, creating a match. From here, you can decide whether to further contact your match. This system completely goes against all characteristics of traditional dating. The matches are based purely on physical appearance and are created by an application.

While there are many positive aspects to the creation of new social media platforms, their impact on today’s dating culture proves to be a negative one. In my opinion, it is unfortunate that traditional aspects of dating are drowned by social media, and remain only for the screens of Hollywood.

Featured Image is a Screenshot from my Facebook Profile

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